Erik ten Hag insists relationship with Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ‘perfect’ despite Man Utd stars fearing he’ll be sacked

UNDER-PRESSURE Erik ten Hag admits he will miss the support of John Murtough after losing his Director of Football this week.

Murtough has left after nearly 11 years at Manchester United as part of new part owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s sweeping changes.

Erik ten Hag insists he has a good working relationship with Sir Jim Ratcliffe


Erik ten Hag insists he has a good working relationship with Sir Jim RatcliffeCredit: Getty
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has refused to deliver a public vote of confidence


Sir Jim Ratcliffe has refused to deliver a public vote of confidenceCredit: PA

That follows the departure of Chief Executive Richard Arnold and it was those two who were behind the appointment of Ten Hag after flying to Amsterdam to interview him.

Now Dan Ashworth is coming in from Newcastle to take on Murtough’s role with Jason Wilcox arriving from Southampton as Technical Director.

Ten Hag said: “I think it’s very important that the new ownership is working on this, to replace his function, to go into a new season.

“For the moment, of course, I miss his support, the surround support, you miss that. He has moved on, we worked very good together, I say thank you to John and wish him all the best for the future.”

Ten Hag insists he still has a good working relationship with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir David Brailsford who are now overseeing the football side of the club.

He said: “I work with the new ownership very good, closely together, it doesn’t change the way I work here.

“It’s perfect, still perfect, I am happy with that but we want to set the right conditions to be successful.”

Ten Hag goes into tomorrow’s 5.30pm kick at Bournemouth on a run of only one win in six in the league.


Football Director John Murtough (R) left Man Utd after 11 years earlier this week


Football Director John Murtough (R) left Man Utd after 11 years earlier this weekCredit: Getty

That has all but paid to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

The sixth placed Red Devils stand 11 points behind Tottenham in fourth with just seven league games to go.

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Bournemouth will be no easy fixture either as they found out in December losing 3-0 at home.

That came just three days after having beaten Chelsea 2-1 away and Ten Hag curiously claimed ahead of the game that they were not ‘mentally strong enough’ to handle those two games in such a short space of time.

He said: “It was after a very good performance against Chelsea in the week and we were mentally not ready for that game.

“They battled us and we lost the battles, this game will not be different, that is the way they want to play, they want to fight with you.

“You have to go into that fight, have the conviction and need to support each other to win battles, outplay them, out run them.”

Ten Hag expects Marcus Rashford to be fit after he hobbled out of United’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool last weekend.

Tuchel showed why he could be the perfect man for Man Utd, says Andy Dillon

By Andy Dillon

TOMMY TUCHEL could not have done it better had he submitted his CV to LinkedIn or Indeed.

Somehow mustering some gumption from the worst Bayern Munich team in more than a decade to stop a rampant Arsenal dead in their tracks is a spectacular job advert for a manager soon to be looking for work.

If Sir Jim Ratcliffe wasn’t watching from his Old Trafford office or from the cinema room in one of his tax havens, he should have been.

They may have even sat up and taken notice in Newcastle or in the owners’ Riyadh hub as Tuchel reminded everyone of his credentials as a top-level coach with devilish timing.

If change is coming then Tuchel is playing a trump card.

His side turned up and cowed the team that, as far as the current Premier League goes, is the best in England.

It may only add to the questions around Tuchel that after tossing away the only league easier to win than Scotland’s or Spain’s, Munich have sprung to life in Europe.

After 11 years unopposed as German champions, Chelsea’s former manager has chucked it in at home in a remarkable act of ineptitude. But freak years can happen.

Tuchel is an enigma. But that is part of the appeal as much as winning the Champions League with Chelsea just three months after taking the job.

With no new signings, he took a team that had lost five of the previous ten games and turned them into European Champions.

With Ratcliffe considering swingeing budget cuts at Old Trafford, a coach who can perform wonders on peanuts would be music to his ears.

Click here to ready Andy’s column in full.

Or to read more from Andy Dillon, click here.


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